But I’ve talked much less about the role of devotion. Some people are on a Bhakti or devotional path. But all of us need some of that, in whatever form suits us.
This is because of the key role the heart takes in the evolutionary process. Without that, our life is dry and flat – even if we’re able to realize the Self. A constrained heart limits our potential and the stages that can unfold.
For some, devotion may take more overt forms, like bajans and kirtan. For others devotion will express as dedication to craft, knowledge, or one’s mate.
The key is in the approach. Are we bringing an open and accepting heart to it? This isn’t about performance or appearances or a presentation of it. It’s not a project for the mind. It’s a surrender of self to something greater that we recognize in what the attention is on. It is an allowing or letting go.
The first step can be something simple, like culturing gratitude. Not making a mood, but occasional reminders through the day to come back to gratitude. I talk about the gratitude rock practice here, something that helped set the stage for the first shift here.
Once the habit of gratitude is established, we can go deeper and open to what we love.
It may be what we’re already doing, but now with feeling. Or it may be something new we adopt to culture further. There are many forms of heart expression.
To our children and partner (see upaguru)
In charity work or giving
In prayer or puja
In kirtan or bajans
In ceremony, such as at church
In our love of music or performing
To our spiritual practice
In service to our teacher or their teachings
To our work
To the perfection of action or skill
The key with all of it is being present with it with an open heart as best we can, here and there in the day.
Our entire life can become a spontaneous practice of devotion; just in our approach to it.
The point is not to beat yourself up over not getting it “right.” That is the exact opposite. This is letting go of judgment and blame, especially against ourselves. This is finding our peace and then finding the love in that peace.
A good approach may kick up old emotional baggage and doubts. This is an indication of purification and that it’s working. Stay the course.
Finding your heart resonance may take a bit of time. But so often, it’s right there in what we’ve been doing all along. Only now we make it conscious.
Last Updated on